Okay so.. It was terrifying to admit to you all about that pageant, but it had to be done. Hi, my name is Jayde Rose and I’ve been in a ‘beauty pageant’. I am a privileged, young, white woman who does indeed love make up, shoes, and LOTS of clothes. Hopefully someday I’ll get married and have 5 (maybe 6 or 7) children. Some of my favorite TV shows are Say Yes To the Dress and Gossip Girl. And while all this may be settling off alarm bells and red flags in your head I would also like to say that I AM A FEMINIST! I worked three jobs in high school so I could support my own interests, someday I really want to adopt children from India or Cambodia, and some of my #1 career interests involve the oppression of women. Yet when I admit to appreciating any of the “girly” things in life I am immediately shoved into the same Barbie box on the shelf that most feminists claim they are attempting to eliminate… SO WHY ARE YOU SHOVING ME BACK INTO IT?!?!?!?! I thought feminism was about equality and eliminating oppression and stereotypes, so why am I so readily stereotyped against because of who I was born to be? I met girls at this pageant who blew my mind.. They’re going to be doctors studying at Harvard, they’ve been to World’s for skiing, they’re accepted into military academies on the East Coast, they have GPAs of 4.5, and they want to work to make the world a better place. In my small hometown of 6,000 people we have a past Miss America. It was the year of her crowning that feminists protested outside the building, at times getting violent. Today she is always smiling, volunteering 6 days out of the week to work one on one with mentally and physically handicapped elementary schoolers. Without her many of them would be unable to move past the 5th grade. Why must we insist upon tearing each other down instead of building each other up for our many strengths and talents? My name is Jayde Rose, I am a woman, a pageant contestant, an Honors scholar, a sorority girl, a writer, an artist, a horseback rider, a Christian, a book worm, a soccer player, and a feminist. But don’t box me up, because I’m NOT a Barbie.